Ray Kusumi

More About Ray Kusumi


Born in Seattle, grew up in Bellevue, went to college at the University of Washington. My grand parents had a farm in Bellevue after the turn of the century. My father worked in Being’s Aerospace division, Failure Analysis section, and my mother was a research scientist working in the Cardiology Department, University of Washington School of Medicine. My work experience is varied if you consider my brothers and I helped my parents on weekends at the apartment buildings we owned. So removing and installing appliances, hot water tanks, removing and installing carpets, painting interior and exterior of apartment buildings. These were great investments, since the income from the apartments paid the cost of tuition for post secondary education of my brothers and I (University of Washington, Stanford, Harvard, M.I.T., U of W Law School). Then from childhood through college, I was a fruit picker during the summer, Seattle Times carrier, warehouse clerk and patio furniture delivery, restaurant dishwasher and ice cream parlor dessert maker, dishwasher in the dormitory kitchen, EKG technician at the University Hospital. After graduating from the University of Washington in Chemistry my first job was being a Research Chemist for the Olympic Stain Company, a Division of Clorox. Later I was hired by the Washington State Patrol and became a Forensic Scientist working in their Crime Laboratory these past thirty-two years.

As for community service and leadership roles in the non-profit sector. That also began in grade school, volunteering at the University Hospital in Occupational Therapy and assisting the Nursing Unit Manager during the summer later in college I would spend time just visiting with long term or terminal patients in the evenings. In grade school volunteered in the library and patrol. In college I belonged to Alpha Epsilon Delta, a pre-med & pre-dental group. I organized on campus blood drives and scheduled guest speakers for our meetings. I got involved with CO-HI as a Counselor Director for this multi-denominational camp retreat of Asian Christian churches in Seattle, also organized a multi-Lutheran Church college age youth group in the Bellevue area. After graduating from the university I married Jean Okamoto, who I originally met at the Undergraduate Library cafeteria “By George.” She is a Registered Nurse and still works for the NW Kidney Center for over thirty-five years. I was appointed Treasurer pro-tem and later elected treasurer to the Concordia Lutheran Conference (early 1980’s) and have continued as a board member of this organization for many years. Also in the early 1980’s I got together with like minded friends to form a non-profit publishing organization called Orthodox Christian Dogmatics. We went through the process to develop articles of incorporation and register with Washington State and to get our 501(c ) 3 status. I’ve also have been involved in my church since 1980 from positions such as trustee, Chair of Missions, Chair of the building committee (where I over saw the planning, financing and building of a new sanctuary and assembly hall), delegate and Elder. Then there is my involvement with PTA these past twenty-three years: Editor, After school Science program, Watch DOGS program chair, President at the middle school, high school and council, vice president, specialist on the WSPTA Region 9 Service Delivery Team, WSPTA Family and Community Engagement Director. At the high school a parent representative for the orchestra and band and multiple senior classes ( to raise $35,000) within the booster organization.

These past several years I have expanded my community service because the organizations I was serving were too silo-ed, and these organizations were trying to reach the same under-represented populations. So I also serve with the Renton Emergency Communications Service (RECS – which I also help to become registered with the state and get 503( c) 3 status with the IRS), Mentor for Communities in Schools of Renton, Auxiliary volunteer for the American Red Cross, member of the Public Health Reserve Corp. and others. Currently assisting the South East Asian American Education Coalition to become a registered non-profit.

Jean and I have four children, two have graduated college, one in presently a Junior at the University of Washington and then the youngest is a Junior in high school. Recently I am getting back into bow hunting since last year when my youngest son showed an interest. I hope to get back into scuba diving but will wait for the kids to be interested, otherwise I may need to find another diving partner. Are whole family skis, and have been skiing since grade school. The whole family took on Taekwon Do, with the younger two kids and myself still continuing. I am currently a 4th degree black belt, the older three kids are third degree and the youngest a 2nd degree. Jean stopped at purple belt. My daughters have being learning classical Japanese dance since they were three and have been preforming at local cultural events like the Seattle Cherry Blossom, Fall Festival at Bellevue College and other venues, this has expanded to the Tea ceremony for Kira and playing the shamisen for Michaela. My kids have carried on the spirit of community service, volunteering at Harborview and Overlake Hospital, PTA, Nissei Veterans Committee, NW Kidney Center and Foundation and for other nonprofits.